WEF and Deloitte launch education innovation challenge

18 May 2021 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read
More news on

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Deloitte have launched The WorldClass Education Challenge – a commitment to explore and support innovative education solutions that help cultivate a strong workforce across Asia and Africa’s young populations. 

Setting the context: the world is currently home to over 1 billion school-age children, largely concentrated in Asia and Africa. Last year wrought hefty disruption on learning cycles for those who have access to regular schooling, presenting an extra barrier for those who don’t. 

WEF and Deloitte are working to ensure this large cohort of youth reaches its potential despite myriad challenges. The WorldClass Education Challenge invites viable and scalable proposals from around the world on how to boost equitable access to education, and enable future-ready skill-development among educators and students alike.

WEF and Deloitte launch education innovation challenge

Selected submissions will receive pro-bono professional services support – cumulatively worth $1 million – as well as grants, and myriad networking opportunities. “It is essential business play a role in preventing the impacts of Covid-19 from exacerbating the education gap,” noted Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen

“This is a moment to catalyze change, and this Innovation Challenge will allow us to identify and support bold, high-impact ideas and approaches to address the global education crisis.” 

An ongoing endeavour

A strong base exists for collaboration: Deloitte set up its WorldClass programme in 2017 with the goal of preparing 100 million people globally for the future of work – with a focus on historically underserved communities; and WEF has myriad programmes to support equitable education – part of wider investments in realising the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Between 2019 and 2020, Deloitte and WEF worked with Salesforce and LinkedIn to launch UpLink – an open, digital crowd-engagement platform designed to facilitate conversations on how to solve the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental issues, with a strong SDG focus. The aim is to connect valuable ideas with the resources to implement them – as is the idea behind the latest education challenge. 

“We are thrilled to be launching the WorldClass Education Challenge on UpLink; this is our first Innovation Challenge to address SDG 4: Quality Education,” said John Dutton, WEF executive committee member and head of UpLink. “It is a real opportunity for us to surface the creativity and ingenuity which we know exists within local ventures, and to connect these to influential networks with the resources and the drive to scale them.” 

Per a joint statement, UpLink will be open to submissions between May 12th and June 20th this year.

A similar vision: financial advisory firm Mercer announced an education initiative in March, aimed at promoting equitable access for girls across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.